Monday, September 10, 2007


Shortly after both my sweet wife and I were stung by insolent bees, I came home from work and noticed some yellow jackets in a tree next to the driveway.

I stopped to see what they might be doing.
Then I notice more. So I stood and stared at the tree for a moment…

and I noticed A LOT more.
Like hundreds and hundreds of bees. In this one tree. Angry little yellow jackets
Uh o.
Now – it’s one thing to have a tree with hundreds of bees in it next to your driveway. But by fantastic coincidence, the first time in 20 years that we have ever seen bees of these numbers in our yard is the year that we are hosting The Sister In Laws bridal shower at our house, in our backyard, with lots of yummy food and tasty guests.

We need a plan.

The plan should include getting rid of the bees.

A friend had recently told me about destroying yellow jacket nests in the ground.
So we wondered if perhaps there was a nest under this tree. Since there are hosta plants planted around the trunk the ground is hidden. Tho we did notice several bees crawling around on the hosta leaves.

So the next morning I get up before dawn. I go out and check the tree – no bees.
I see one sleepy little bee crawling on a hosta leaf.
So I start hacking away at the hostas.
I am cutting and tossing leaves all over the place… and now I even think I hear subtle buzzing sounds, perhaps from the colossal nest I am about to find under the tree roots – I am careful to be nimble tho – just in case I discover the nest and make them all upset. I am planning what to do if I am swarmed… its good to have a plan. I am certain I am on the right track… then I notice a small hole… paydirt! I think… I am getting pretty excited …
I am practically congratulating myself on a job well done. Although I have not actually seen any bees coming from the hole… in fact, I haven’t seen any bees at all …

When my quiet wife comes up behind me and gently asks if I have noticed that the entire tree is filled with bees.



Let’s review:
We have thousands of bees.
For some reason the bees like this tree.
Bees sting.
We have determined there is no nest in the ground under the tree.
I have completely hacked up our attractive plantings leaving a stubbly mess.
We are having a big party in three days.

Clearly we need to find the nest…


Zoe said...

It sounds like a honey bee swarm looking for a new place to call home. some friends of mine used to keep bees and they had this happen to them once. If you can find a beekeeper they might be able to come and relocate them for you, otherwise you'll just have to wait for them to move on in a few days. I don't know if this is really any help

Val said...

I look forward to the next intallment on this riveting tale. I have no expertise to offer suggestions... hope no one gets stung and also hope this tree is on the opposite side of the driveway from the back of the house, where party mentioned will be held...
be vewy cah-ful (read in elmer fudd-ese!)

Anonymous said...

Aren't honey bees different than yellow jackets? Aren't yellow jackets actually wasps? That's why they're angry. That's why you got yerself bit. Plus, you need to treat them differently if they are, indeed, yellow jackets.

You've probably looked all over the internet but there are some tips here:


SassyFemme said...

With that many bees it might be time to call in the professionals.

weese said...

eb... those are oregonian bees.
very different from our chic east coast bees. really they have no sense of style.

WenWhit said...

Tyvek suit and a flamethrower?

WordsRock said...

Peacefully co-existing is out of the question, I guess.

Chop down the attractive tree?
Put a huge net over it?
Pretend you invited those bees to the party on purpose?

Maria said...

Ugh. No ideas. And with some people very allergic to bee stings, you DO have to figure out some course of action.

I think you need a bee keeper. Yellow pages. Agricultural department of a local college?

MP said...

Geeze Weese, Bees? Sorry, couldn't resist...hehehe! Anyway, do not discount that there is a nest under the Hostas. We had a similar experience last year when the landscaper was weeding around the rhodies and was attacked by the nasty bees ... he was bitten several times, so be careful.


dykewife said...

if it's yellow jackets they arne't bees, they're wasps/hornets and are wicked nasty since they don't die when they sting, they just keep stinging. i would recommend a professional to do the work of getting rid of the nest.

otter said...

If they really are yellow jackets, I'd go with the flame-thrower. You might want to have some epi-pens on hand for the party. Any reasonable doctor will give you a script for several in this instance.
How fast can y'all run?

Anonymous said...

get a couple cans of wasp fog. fog tree at dusk (thats when they are all home for the evening). Run like hell